Crash.Net Le Mans News
Pescarolo wins Portimao
2 August 2009
Pescarolo Sport has taken its first win of the Le Mans Series season after Jean-Christophe Boullion and Christophe Tinseau took the chequered flag in the Saturday evening race in the Algarve.
Despite being forced to run just a single car for the Portimao event, Henri Pescarolo's eponymous squad picked up victory after holding off the challenge of both Aston Martin Racing and Team Oreca while there was a popular home win in the LMP2 class for the Quifel-ASM team.
In a race that ran without any major incidents, Pescarolo ultimately came out on top of a race long battle with both AMR and Oreca to take victory by nearly a minute and half to defend its championship lead.
“We didn't qualify well,” Boullion, who broke the wins record of the Le Mans Series, said. “We should have been able to set a better lap, because the car was fantastic. In fact, the car has been doing well from the beginning of the weekend.”
The car of Jan Charouz, Tomas Enge and Stefan Mucke led the Aston Martin challenge in second, while Bruno Senna and Tiago Monteiro secured the final step on the podium. The sister car of Olivier Panis and Nicolas Lapierre, which had started from pole, lost time in the pits and finished fourth ahead of the second Aston Martin Racing entry.
Amongst the LMP1 runners to hit problems were the two Kolles Audis, which collided early on in the race and were both delayed as a result, While the #14 car was running at the end, it fell one lap short of a classified finish. The Strakka Racing Ginetta-Zytek hit drama before the start as Danny Watts suffered a spin on the green flag lap and the car would fail to make it to the finish as mechanical issues forced the car out before half way.
LMP2 saw Olivier Pla and Miguel Amaral take honours in a solid sixth place overall to move into the class lead, with Racing Box second and the GAC Racing team in third.
With only two cars, the GT1 battle proved to be a non-event with the Luc Alphand Aventures Corvette finishing more than 20 laps clear of the Larbre Saleen, although the battle for GT2 victory was more closely fought as JMW Motorsport took victory by just five seconds from the IMSA Performance MATMUT Porsche.